My Story

Lucas Thai Tran 11/07/03-10/16/07

Lucas Tran Purple Memorial Fund was set up to honor Lucas & support children's med tx.Click here to donate online.See 12/11/07 entry for Fund details.View slide shows,videos,& a photo essay under "links" (please note: there are photos of his death).Learn more about his journey under "journal".Summary of his tx is under "my story".

On Friday 8/13/04,during a 9mth wellness checkup,Lucas was diagnosed with neuroblastoma,a childhood cancer.The primary tumor was located above the adrenal gland on the rt side of Lucas' body and extended past the midline to the lft side.There were also some nodules in the liver.

Because the primary tumor was large enough to cross the midline of the body and spread to the liver,Lucas' condition was characterized as INSS Stage 4(the most advanced stage).One piece of good news was that no cancer was found outside of the primary tumor and the nodules in the liver.The 2nd piece of good news came from the biopsy result which indicated that the tumor is MYCN amplified negative.This marker is used to determine how aggressive the cancer is and thereby how aggressive the treatment must be.An unfavorableMYCN amplified result would have made Lucas a high-risk case. Since it was favorable,Lucas' condition was considered intermediate-risk.Unfortunately,another test result from the biopsy indicated unfavorable for the tumor cellploidy marker.This means that Lucas will need to undergo 8 3-week cycles of chemo instead of 4.According to the American Cancer Society,the 5-year survival rate for children with intermediate-riskneuroblastoma was 80% at the time.The 3rd marker,Shimada classification of the tumor cell,was favorable but did not affect the treatment plan because the ploidy marker was already unfavorable.

After completing 8 cycles of chemo,the primary tumor shrank significantly.Lucas then had a debulking surgery in which 90% of the shrunken primary tumor was removed.The doctors hoped that the nodules on the liver were killed by chemo because they were risky to surgically remove.The liver nodules and remaining tumor were monitored by scans every 3 months.One year after the surgery,Lucas' oncologists believed that it was safe to space the scans out every 6 months because the chance of a relapse for his risk category was so low beyond that point.Four months after this point,Lucas complained,"my tummy hurt."On Tuesday August 29, 2006,further testing showed that his tumor was back and perhaps bigger than ever.Worse yet,the cancer cells had spread to his bone marrow.

The new tumor looks to have grown out around the remaining portion of the original tumor.In the bone marrow, the portion in the right upper arm has a high concentration ofneuroblastoma cells.The bone marrow in the left upper arm also has heightened concentration but to a lesser degree.There is also a lump near Lucas' left collar bone,probably from a cancerous lymph node.With this relapse,his condition is now being treated as a high-risk case.According to the American Cancer Society,the 5 year survival rate for children with high-riskneuroblastoma is 30%.

He started the COG ANBL02P1 protocol and finished 5 cycles of chemo(consisting of Cytoxin,Doxorubicin, Cisplatin,Vincristine,Topotecan,Etoposide/VP-16) at LPCH followed by an incomplete resection at MSKCC.Then he completed the 6th cycle at LPCH followed by MIBG-I131 treatment,conditioning (Melphalan,Carboplatin,and VP-16),stem-cell transplant,and 12 days (6 days of large field,6 coned in) of radiation at UCSF.We left for NY 5/16 to start 3F8.MSKCC gave away our spot in the study so Lucas waited for an extra month to start 3F8 with glucan.At the beginning of July,his liver function tests became elevated (5-6 times normal) just before a new 3F8+glucan slot opened up for him (so he did not receive 3F8).In the meantime, he had started Accutane.Halfway through the 3rd cycle of Accutane,Lucas complained of headaches and extremity pains.September 20, 2007,he had an urgent head CT which showed metastasis to the bone between the eyes.Later that day,Lucas had his first MRI which showed more extensive disease--both optic nerves were encased with tumor.He had 12 doses of head radiation and tookTemodar (without Irinotecan due to concern that both would sensitize his head too much for radiation).

Sadly,the cancer rapidly progressed and took his life.He is dearly missed by his father-Chinh,mother-Thy,big sister-Kira,and baby brother-Aiden (that he was looking forward to meeting but only knows as a dot from the 1st ultrasound picture).

It would mean so much to us if you read through this journal and share Lucas' story.All we have is his memory now and don't want him to be forgotten.For an overview of Lucas' life,read entries starting September 20, 2007 (when we found out Lucas' cancer progressed)-present. 

Please note that cb asks for donations.This is not something we added to the website,it is a standard format that they have set up.We can not edit the statements or remove them.The donations through Caringbridge help support their efforts,it does NOT support LTPMF.

Our primary purpose for continuing this website and LTPMF is to keep Lucas' memory alive.Do not feel uncomfortable contacting us because you can not contribute to the fund.It is much more important to us that he is remembered and that his story is heard and shared.


Thy Tran posted a new journal entry, "9th Birthday".

Grief is unlike other emotional trauma where our defense blocks it out or refocuses us away from the most difficult memories. With grief, we don't want to forget. We ... Read more

Tracy Driscoll signed Lucas's Guestbook.

I had the pleasure of meeting Winnie at brunch yesterday and she shared this link about Lucas, her beloved nephew.  It's obvious he was a very special little man and I ... Read more

Gina, Kristianne, Jackie, & Nico signed Lucas's Guestbook.

Jackie got a beautiful new purple backpack with wheels...made me think of Nookie...I hope you guys are well...we miss Lucas and we miss you! Read more

Roxanne C signed Lucas's Guestbook.

I was studying for a final and I came across this phrase in a book published in 2013 : " A cure for cancer has not been found to this date." I sat and thought about it for ... Read more

Kamal Dave signed Lucas's Guestbook.

I also wanted mention anything to do with construction, specifically "cantilevers", and paper shredding and "Rocco" his shredding and design company. I defy anyone to see ... Read more

Kamal Dave signed Lucas's Guestbook.

Hello to the entire Tran Family and all of Lucas's many loved ones. Your son, brother, cousin, nephew, grandson, is truly constantly in our hearts and on our minds. There ... Read more

Nicole Ngo signed Lucas's Guestbook.

Thinking of you guys tonight and wondering how your family is doing? It was fun seeing y'all at thuy's wedding. Almost two years ago! Read more

Andy Mikulak, dad to Max signed Lucas's Guestbook.

Thinking of Nookie tonight and decided to visit and say hello. Miss that boy, love that I think of him whenever the sun is shining and our local park has a lot of purple ... Read more

gaby olazabal signed Lucas's Guestbook.

Mateo was playing Flag Footaball a few weeks ago.  That day he came home and saw a Holiday card from Jenny Tarlton.  He read the card and recognized Cook. He said he ... Read more

Roxanne C signed Lucas's Guestbook.

Someone shared this quote with me and my mind flew instantly to Lucas:  "There is no foot too small that it cannot leave an imprint on this world." There are no ... Read more

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